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How To: Paint Your Front Door

By The How-To Gal on Sep 18, 2013

It was a dreary day when we first pulled up to (what would be) our future home. The first things I noticed were the hideous orange door and shutters. Do you see them?

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That door would have to go, I said to myself. But when we moved in and got more acquainted with the house, I fell in love with the door's glass inset. It isn't modern or sleek, but it has character. I decided to paint it instead of buying a new door. The next question was color. After searching and searching and searching, I fell in love with black.

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All my door needed was a little black dress to spruce up her curb appeal.

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Turns out I was right. The black really makes the glass inset pop! I've had several neighbors ask if I purchased a new door. Nope! It is amazing what a new coat of paint can do.

How-To Paint Your Front Door

Step One: When undertaking a big project like painting your front door, plan an entire day (or two) to get it completely finished. It took me two days to finish this project. Be sure you have all materials on hand (3M Advanced Abrasives, mineral spirits, sander, ScotchBlue Painter's Tape, paint, paint brushes and polyurethane) so you don't have to run to the hardware mid-project.

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Step Two: Remove all hardware from your door and prep your door. I taped off the glass first with ScotchBlue Painter's Tape to protect it from the sander and future paint.

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Always take off the hardware when repainting. As you can see, the previous owners didn't take off the door handle and painted all over it. We scrubbed all of the orange paint off with steel wool and mineral spirits.

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Step Three: Sand down your door. My door wasn't real wood, it was actually a fiberglass material with a wood grain. I wore 3M Tekk Protection (glasses and mask) to save my eyeballs and respiratory system from any flying debris. It is so important to wear protective gear. A DIY project isn't worth a trip to the hospital.

  • If you don't have a wood door, clean your door really well and then skip right to a primer instead of sanding. Valspar has some great suggestions on how to paint a metal door here.

Step Four: Paint your door with long even strokes. Wood is more forgiving than metal, but still attempt to use your Karate Kid painting skills. Up and down, up and down.

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Step Five: Once you're satisfied with the color coverage (we did two coats) and the paint is dry, it's time to seal the door. We used three coats of polyurethane. Make sure to lightly sand in between coats so the poly properly adheres to the door.

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Doesn't she look beautiful in her new shiny black color? I love it. Once the door was done, I mustered the motivation to paint the shutters to match.

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I followed the same steps with these shutters as I did with the front door. I was too lazy to take the shutters down, so I made sure to thoroughly tape off my house so I didn't accidently paint it black.

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I'm so happy with the results.

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This post is a collaboration with 3M DIY.

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